LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued notices to the provincial government and the Forest Department on a petition by Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani requesting the court to drop proceedings against him in a case related to possession of forest land.
The counsel for Gorchani told Justice Sayed Mansoor Ali Shah that his client’s political opponents were trying to malign him through such allegations. He said Muhammad Ali Dreshak had a grudge against Gorchani who had defeated his brother in elections. The lawyer requested the court to order the authorities concerned to exclude Gorchani’s name from the case.
At a previous hearing, the Revenue Department had informed the LHC that it had retrieved 6,900 acres of Forest Department from the illegal possession of Gorchani. Chief Settlement Commissioner Saqib Aziz had appeared before the court along with the officials of the Revenue Department.
They had submitted that the chief minister would decide whether the land be transferred to the Forest Department or to some other department.
Justice Shah had ordered the Revenue Department to submit a report about the remaining piece of land on February 11.
Sardar Ali Raza, a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA, had filed the petition accusing the deputy speaker of illegally occupying the land with the connivance of some Revenue Department officials.
He said Gorchani had occupied 10,000 acres and started cultivation after cutting the woods. He had requested the court to retrieve the land from the deputy speaker.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2016.
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